Microsoft announces Windows 10 S and new Surface laptop

A new version of Windows is on the way alongside a new iteration of Microsoft’s Surface hardware.

Windows 10 S is a lightweight version of Windows 10. Not only is it designed to be less processor intensive due to the reduced number of background programs, but it also only runs apps purchased from the Windows Store.

The idea is that this makes the OS a far safer environment for education. The downside, of course, is that devices running Windows 10 S become infinitely less versatile than literally any other standard PC.

This may limit the OS’ impact in the mainstream market, unless Windows 10 S PCs and laptops are very competitively priced, at least. And lots of manufacturers are already on board, including Dell, HP, and Acer. Prices will apparently start for as little as $189, placing the OS squarely up against the Google-orientated Chromebook market.

The first non-Microsoft machine to be revealed is Acer’s $99 TravelMate Spin B1, which features a 350-degree hinge, touchscreen and 13 hour battery life.

10 S will only be offered as a pre-installed option on select hardware, although those who buy such a device will have the option to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro. This will be free for students or $49 for everyone else.

Oh, and machine’s including the OS come with a one-year subscription to Minecraft Education Edition (and Office 365 for Education).

Windows 10 Pro is due out this summer.

Microsoft has tried to sell a cut-down version of Windows before, of course, but Windows RT likely failed for all sorts of reasons that 10 S will hopefully avoid.

The new OS announcement was joined by the reveal of the brand new Surface Laptop, which expands the line beyond the tablet market. It will come with 10 S by default and includes a fabric alcantara keyboard as seen on the Surface Pro 4 keyboard.

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